MADURAI: A 14-year-old schoolgirl from Naduvakottai village near Tirumangalam in Madurai district was doused with petrol and set ablaze on Friday evening by a relative whose proposal for marriage she had rejected. Her mother, who was passing by in an autorickshaw, and the vehicle’s driver put out the fire and rushed the girl to hospital.
M Chithra Devi was admitted to the Government Rajaji Hospital with more than 70% burns, mostly above the waist.
Police are looking for Balamurugan, a spinning mill daily-wage worker, who had been harassing the girl and her family. Chithra’s parents had approached the police a few times complaining of harassment and a case had been registered. The victim’s brother said the harassment continued for more than six months.
‘Man had suicidal tendencies’
Based on a complaint from the girl’s mother M Petchiyammal, 35, a case was registered in Tirumangalam AWPS against Balamurugan under sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) in September 2017. However, he was not arrested. Police sources said the man had suicidal tendencies. The case is pending in court.